Big dreams start small, with the love of art

RICK has been around for 75 years. A period in which thousands of cultural talents have been tapped and come to fruition. They are proud of that. Some students from Weerteregnen even rose to great heights. Like, for example, Caro van de Venne (41) from Rotterdam, who is creating an international sensation as an architect. The foundation for her career was laid by her mother Emmy, the Weerter artist, who has been giving visual lessons to RICK for many years.

As a child, Caro was already stimulated to discover and create beauty. “Next to our house in Weert was my mother’s workshop, where I always did carpentry. I made all kinds of constructions with pieces of wood. Animal figurines, birdhouses, you name it. During holidays we often did city tours. There I also came into contact with art and architecture. I still remember standing in the Olympic Stadium in Munich and seeing that support structure for the first time. The undulating tent roof, designed by Frei Otto. I was deeply impressed.”

A foundation for life

Because art was part of her upbringing, it was only logical to attend the former art college (now RICK). In addition to woodworking, Caro learned to draw and paint there. “The dexterity to make beautiful things”, she calls the result of six teenage years of artistic training. A foundation that she benefits from to this day.

During her architectural studies at Eindhoven University of Technology, Caro already noticed that she had a head start. “As an architect in training, you are challenged to make designs. It starts with an idea in your head, which you then translate into a drawing on paper. That way, you discover how the design works, whether the concept you came up with also fits and works. Only then will you make it.”

The creative process also went smoothly for her. While most fellow students had never held an exercise before, Caro knew exactly how to handle machines and materials. “It has really helped me with my architectural projects. If your model looks good, your teacher will immediately be excited and doors will open that would otherwise remain closed. In addition, of course, you have to put time and energy into it. Ultimately, it is the foundation of success. If you work hard, things rarely go wrong. It never felt like a chore to me. I really like this work. You design buildings that are very concrete and practical. When I’m cooking, I forget everything around me. Time flies, there is complete focus.”

Beautiful and efficient

Born Weertse, he is now a recognized architect. Since 2009, the engineer and his partner Dirk Peeters have been at the helm Barcode architects, a renowned architecture and urban planning office in Rotterdam. Orders pour in from all over the world, but its mission has largely remained unchanged. Caro van de Venne wants to “make beautiful things”. Buildings that please the eye and are pleasant to use. “I am most proud of the Casanova project: a red, triangular residential tower in Rotterdam. A kind of natural stone sculpture, balancing on its foot. A building with lots of daylight and a pleasant climate, where meetings are central. In this project you can see exactly what my work is about. Architecture balances art and science. That means I try to balance beauty with efficiency.”

To dream

Caro inspires, but is also regularly moved herself. For example by the German artist Josef Albers. “The way he handles colors is masterful. The peace and the strength that emanates from it. It was also the reason I used this color palette in one of my first buildings.”

In her early forties, it feels as if her career has only just begun. He was born in Weert and wants to design buildings that correspond to the themes of our time. Objects that people will still be talking about in 50 years and that encourage fellow architects to raise the bar even higher.

They are big dreams that once started small. At home in Weert, in the studio of her mother, who enchanted her with something beautiful. Something that is unfortunately not for all children. The love of art. And that love never ends. My mother and I still go to exhibitions together.”

Text contribution by Bas Poell

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